BUFFALO, N.Y. [WKBW] — With so much uncertainty surrounding the landscape in pro sports, the NFLPA has suggested the NFL eliminates the preseason this year. Last week, according to multiple reports, the NFL agreed to shorten the preseason from four games to two, eliminating the matchups in Week 1 and Week 4. But NFLPA President and Akron, NY native JC Tretter is aiming for more.
The NFLs unwillingness to follow the recommendations of its own experts will put this season and the safety of all players at risk. This year must look differently if we hope to play a full season and crown a Super Bowl Champion. Read: https://t.co/lp7vFYFFjN— JC Tretter (@JCTretter) July 7, 2020
“With no medical reason provided for holding any preseason games and the desire to follow the Joint Committee’s recommendations, the NFLPA Board of Player Representatives unanimously voted against any preseason games this season,” Tretter said in a statement posted on the NFLPA's website. “Every decision this year that prioritizes normalcy over innovation, custom over science, or even football over health, significantly reduces our chances of completing the full season.”
Former Buffalo Bills linebacker and current NFLPA Vice President, Lorenzo Alexander, echoed Tretter’s message. Alexander acknowledges this isn’t the ideal scenario for depth players fighting to make an NFL roster. He himself won a job during the preseason as a longtime special teams contributor. But with the current climate and risks involved, Alexander believes canceling all preseason games would be the safest decision.
“So why would we [play] games that don’t matter in the preseason and expose our men to additional risks?" Alexander said. "I think there are enough risks going into the facility with 70, 80, or 90 guys. And now that you ask them to travel across country, it’s really not the wisest thing to do."
While Alexander says players have received much of the focus in regards to health and safety, it's important to also remember the health and safety of the coaches.
“When you look at the four major sports, NFL coaching is probably one of the most instrumental as far as the touchpoints you have, whether it’s throughout the week or even in like a game," Alexander added. "You know you can always replace players and have a practice squad, but imagine a world where three or four coaches go down, what does that look like? Who is going to call plays?”
So will the NFL go with no preseason games? Or could the two sides potentially reach an agreement? According to Mark Maske of The Washington Post, a joint medical committee hired by the NFLPA and the NFL has recommended one or two preseason games be played.
NFL believes that J.C. Tretter's statement was misleading. The league believes it's wrong to say that it's not working with the NFLPA on health and safety issues or following the recommendations of the two sides' joint medical committee.— MarkMaske (@MarkMaske) July 7, 2020